“Everyone designs who devises courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones… it is the principal mark that distinguishes the professions from the sciences”
– Herbert Simon, Sciences of the Artificial
In the spirit of Herbert Simon, Frameworks engages diverse but complementary disciplines, perspectives and techniques to help identify, diagnose and constructively address consequential social challenges. The disciplines – or 'frameworks' – explored include (in no order and to varying degrees) systems analysis, industrial design, scientific methods, behavioral and organizational dynamics, law, economics, risk management, manufacturing, culture, aesthetics, health sciences, history, branding, anthropology, statistics, public policy, ecology and the like. While individual frameworks are presented, the teaching goal over the two semesters is to help students: a) identify problems that are both consequential and tractable; b) select and apply the suite of frameworks best suited to addressing the problem at hand.
Frameworks I & II are designed both to complement the Collaborative Design Engineering Studio by offering conceptual support for applied solutions and to prepare students for the second year Independent Design Engineering Projects by focusing on problem definition, diagnostic techniques and the challenges of translating ideas into action. Frameworks II differs from Frameworks I by engaging outside experts – especially practitioners – to explore particular situations and experience in greater depth.